As we are entering into the beginning of the holiday season drinking pumpkin spice lattes, eating homemade foods, and gathering with family & friends, we might notice that we are feeling sluggish. This sluggishness might be our body’s way of telling us that it needs a little help. Enjoying the holidays is important, so taking some steps to aid your digestive system can help you decrease bloat & have a happy belly. Below are three strategies to assist digestion both before and after the Big Meal.

Incorporate honey into your diet! Studies (1) have shown that honey helps to promote the growth of many probiotic cultures AND has a positive effect on the breakdown of bacterial strains in the gut.

Enjoy ginger after your meal. Ginger can increase gastric emptying (2), meaning it helps your body empty food from your stomach to be processed by the intestines. Research shows that this property of ginger is helpful for decreasing symptoms of acid reflux. There are many ways to ingest ginger from incorporating the fresh ginger root into meals, to candy-like ginger chews, to capsuled ginger which is best for those who may not like the taste.

Try a digestion massage. Seated or laying down, you can help stimulate your digestive system (3) by drawing big circles on your belly. Ascending colon- transverse colon- descending colon. Up the right side of your belly, across just under your ribs, down your left side, and across your lower belly back to right hip making a big circle.

Seated in a chair at the front edge, full inhale to lengthen your spine twisting to the right, a few breaths here, untwisting and then inhale and twisting to the left holding for a few breaths.

This video is meant to be educational and instructional. They are not able to diagnose or treat a specific issue and are not a substitute for a professional evaluation.

References

1. Schell, K. R., Fernandes, K. E., Shanahan, E., Wilson, I., Blair, S. E., Carter, D. A., & Cokcetin, N. N. (2022). The potential of honey as a prebiotic food to re-engineer the gut microbiome toward a healthy state. Frontiers in Nutrition9. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2022.957932

2. Wu, K.-L., Rayner, C. K., Chuah, S.-K., Changchien, C.-S., Lu, S.-N., Chiu, Y.-C., Chiu, K.-W., & Lee, C.-M. (2008). Effects of ginger on gastric emptying and motility in healthy humans. European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology20(5), 436–440. https://doi.org/10.1097/meg.0b013e3282f4b224

3. Dehghan, M., Malakoutikhah, A., Ghaedi Heidari, F., & Zakeri, M. A. (2020). The effect of abdominal massage on gastrointestinal functions: A systematic review. Complementary Therapies in Medicine54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2020.102553

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